Body found in North Myrtle Beach

The body of a man was found in the surf near 7th Avenue North in North Myrtle Beach around 7 a.m.Thursday, according to North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling.

Horry County Coroner Robert Edge identified Dean Curtis Way, 55, of Little River. An autopsy showed that Way died of asphyxiation due to drowning.

Horry County police Sgt. Robert Kegler says Way was involved in a domestic dispute with his wife of 15 years Wednesday evening.

According to a police report, Horry County police were called to the emergency room at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center around 2 a.m. Thursday. A woman was being treated after she said her husband hit her several times with a rubber hammer.

The woman told police she had given her husband his Christmas present early and he was excited and told her how much he liked it. She then told him she wanted a puppy for Christmas, and according to the report, her husband snapped, grabbed her and threw her to the ground. The woman told police that's when he got the rubber hammer and started hitting her with it.

The woman said her husband then threatened to kill himself and her before going to get a gun. She said he loaded the gun but did not point it at her. The woman waited until the man left before calling for help